By the early spring of 2012 we added a number of new works of contemporary composers to our repertoire and had several performances. At that time we decided that it would be really cool to record our own CD with all the wonderful, rarely heard music that we had studied and performed.
A number of years ago I recorded 2 CD’s of music by Alan Hovhaness for Koch International Classics and Jennifer had just recorded a CD of her music titled “Spectrum” at Purchase College, her Alma Mater and suggested that we could do it there. This turned out to be a great idea.
We had three Thursday morning recording sessions during June, 2012, one of the hottest periods of last summer. Each week we had a specific goal. Since Jennifer had experience from working on her own CD just a year earlier, she took the recordings home to listen, picked the best takes, and sent them to me with suggestions (yes, she is the one with perfect pitch).
For the most part we agreed on what to use on the CD and what to re-record the following week. After recording, we had 3 sessions with our wonderful engineer and producer, Andy Cardenas, who did the editing, mixing and mastering and handled us a completed gold master. I was so impressed when he removed some quiet background noise (sounded like a door) out of Jennifer’s Lullaby.
He also suggested that we get a name for our duo and something to do with 20 fingers. We decided that 20 fingers sounded the best in Italian and this was the official birth of Piano Duo Venti Dita. We still had to pick a title for the CD, write liner notes, purchase mechanical licensing and create the CD cover.
We did have several offers from various record companies, but we decided to self-produce the CD due to the costs involved with working with labels and selected Disc Makers from Pennsauken, NJ to complete our project. Since most traditional record stores are gone, we knew that if we did a descent job of self-promoting our CD it would sell fine and it has surprisingly done so.
The title “Child in the Garden” came from the Alan Hovhaness work on our CD. Since my wife Beata did covers for 2 my previous CD’s there was no question that she would be the author of this one also. She created a wonderful, naïve, almost childlike cover that includes a child, a cat (which represents me – I have 3 cats) and a parrot (which represents Jennifer who has 2 parrots) in a garden.
It was an exciting, often stressful adventure to self-produce the CD.
However we are both happy with it and it has received many wonderful comments from people whom have heard it. And yes, it has been on the bestselling lists of CD Baby, who is our distributor. (MR)